July 28th, 2011, 11:16 AM
Recommendations for hard sci-fi set in space
This is my first post and I thought people on these forums could recommend some solid reading. I really only read hard sci-fi and I am looking for some books on man's exploration of space, more specifically long space journeys with themes of the human condition, man vs. technology, and space paranoia or claustrophobia.
Here are some of the books I've read that touch on these themes that I really enjoyed:
2001 Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke
Destination: Void - Frank Herbert
Solaris - Stanislov Lem
I haven't found too many others, but there are a couple of movies that fit the category too. Maybe they'll help you guys with recommendations:
Event Horizon (1997)
July 28th, 2011, 01:44 PM
\m/ BEER \m/
Welcome to the forums ManBeaver (interesting name)
This thread should provide you with some good reading:
Hard Science Fiction About Space Exploration
Al Reynolds's Pushing Ice is a good take on the subject.
Thought it may not feel like it, Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun is about a generational starship.
July 28th, 2011, 04:41 PM
I'd like to chime in with a personal favourite. Mote in God's Eye.
July 28th, 2011, 04:47 PM
Live Long & Suffer
James P. Hogan
The Two Faces of Tomorrow
Voyage from Yesteryear
Cold as Ice
Alan Dean Foster
Nor Crystal Tears
Arthue C. Clarke
A Fall of Moondust Oldie
August 13th, 2011, 12:50 PM
Check out Greg Bear's Hull Zero Three. Not really hard scifi but plenty of great ideas and fun to read.
August 13th, 2011, 02:18 PM
Live Long & Suffer
Antares Dawn (1986) by Michael McCollum
Antares Passage (1987) by Michael McCollum
Antares Victory (2002) by Michael McCollum
The first two books of the Antares Trilogy came out in the 80's but Antares Victory was not released until 2002 so I went back and reread the first two books to refresh my memory. Michael McCollum is an aeronautical engineer and this clearly shows in his descriptions of the starships. McCollum uses what he calls foldspace which is effectively the same as what Lois McMaster Bujold calls jump points but McCollum goes into a much more detailed explanation of it. This could be regarded as somewhat silly, going into details about non-existent physics, but I found it both interesting and amusing. But this type of FTL travel has the same effect on military tactics in the McCollum universe as it does in the Bujold universe. These choke points of travel between star systems must be defended and attacked which tends to wreak carnage upon the attackers. McCollum has aliens fighting humans instead of humans vs. humans as in Bujold's universe.
August 15th, 2011, 06:18 AM
If you want a story about a long space journey you can't beat Tau Zero. The other themes are there but less expertly explored. It really is just a hard SF exploration of a single theme taken to its conclusion and beyond. I enjoyed it immensely.
Originally Posted by ManBeaver
August 15th, 2011, 11:45 PM
Live Long & Suffer
The Integral Trees is a 1984 science fiction novel by Larry Niven
But they are sublight and evolved for zero gravity. They never grew in the ground.
August 16th, 2011, 12:28 AM
Webmaster, Great SF&F
How hard is "hard" sf? I find Solaris an unusual inclusion under that rubric. Most adamant "hard sf" readers scorn anything using or implying FTL drives (which is risibly restrictive).
More or less within your category, you should certainly try Algis Budrys' Rogue Moon.
Stretching out a bit (to include FTL-based universes), you might look at C. J. Cherryh's Voyager in Night. Another possibility--along the "generation ship" line--is Damon Knight's The World and Thorinn. Or there is Rebecca Ore's Becoming Alien, which is not exactly about space travel but is about humankind going into space. Also, Brian Stableford's "Daedalus Expeditions" series might qualify: it deals with how humans might be altered by new worlds.
August 22nd, 2011, 06:03 AM
I don't know if it's "hard" enough for you but how about Orphans of the Sky by Robert Heinlein?
September 8th, 2011, 12:16 AM
I second Mote in God's Eye. One of my all time favorites.
Originally Posted by JimF
September 9th, 2011, 12:25 AM
My recommends are:
Tau Zero - Poul Anderson (mentioned above)
Anything by Alistair Reynolds
Brian Stableford's Swan series.
Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey
Use of Weapons and Consider Phlaebas - Iain M Banks
Across a Billion Years - Robert SIlverberg
In no particular order.
September 9th, 2011, 04:37 PM
Michael Flynn's Firestar series comes to mind. Very hard, very near future, great characters.
September 12th, 2011, 06:50 PM
Try Stephen Baxter, especially the Xeelee novels: Raft, Flux, Ring and many more. His "NASA" novels also, Voyage, Titan and Moonseed.
September 14th, 2011, 11:14 AM
Since you also like similar movies, check out the movie "Moon" which fits your bill really well. Its a little light on action, but is very intelligent and has a lot of atmosphere.